Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The new encryption software of WhatsApp: What exactly is it?

The new encryption software of WhatsApp: What exactly is it?

For a long time the popular Messenger WhatsApp for lack of encryption of messages in the criticism. The new end-to-end encryption WhatsApp messages, pictures and Co. from hackers, the state monitoring and even before the WhatsApp employees themselves are now safe. What does the new WhatsApp encryption for the user? For the user, but that does not change in practice, for advanced protection of privacy. However, this requires a newer version of WhatsApp both the receiver and the transmitter intervenes only encryption that is reflected in the app to a small castle in the message window.

Managed and all messages transmitted media content before the eyes of others. These look henceforth so actually only all parties involved in each chat. WhatsApp had announced himself that both employees of their own company as well as security agencies, government services and hackers so obtained no longer have access to the messages.

Encryption Software WhatsApp?
The WhatsApp encryption itself applies, incidentally, as a "state-of-the-art", ie as a real Primus industry. It was developed by Open Whisper Systems, which possess a premier reputation for our own encryptions internationally. The what should do this, it does so certainly with the utmost care. The cooperation with Open Whisper Systems and the team around Moxie Marlinspike has been well received, especially in the tech industry. Backdoors are not expected because Marlinspike deemed strong supporter of unrestricted privacy, can be expected from the in no way that this would adjust its position for corporate interests suddenly.

Advantages and Disadvantages of WhatsApp encryption
The WhatsApp encryption is therefore definitely sure back doors are to be expected in this no. A clear advantage is therefore the full protection of privacy, without that would make a difference for the user the performance of the messenger is not adversely affected by this additional barrier. Because encryption is not open source, always a small residual risk remains.

Negative points should with regard to WhatsApp encryption also not go unmentioned. So encrypted logs are actually for example no longer so encrypted when they are uploaded by users of Apple's iOS in the cloud. As the cloud itself is not encrypted, the data therefore remain visible in this. Another drawback, but it was in this form before, is the address of WhatsApp. The so-called meta-data, including, for example, phone numbers and the numbers assigned names are not encrypted by the encryption. Also, it is still necessary to know the phone number to identify a user of the Messengers this need is often criticized by pro-campaigners for privacy but a solution does not provide the current market Messenger Apps <.

Security experts advise further on a usage of WhatsApp, at least if you want to protect yourself as much as possible. The competitors around signal and threema are either open source, thus providing transparency or encrypt the address and meta data in two points WhatsApp can not compete as a closed restaurant in the hands of Facebook.

Despite suitable encryption not for the commercial environment
Whoever thanks to WhatsApp encryption hopes to use the app in a commercial environment pretty sure will also be disappointed. Because the app still forcibly transfers the contact details in its database, still arise privacy concerns when private contact information of commercial contacts without the consent be "published". For home users, the end-to-end encryption is but at least a first step towards a secure privacy if they also long is not a panacea.

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